'Tis the first day of 2011, the newest year after Jesus the Christ's time upon this earth.
My favorite Bible verse for introducing the new year is 3 John 2:
Brethren, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in good health, even as thy soul prospereth.
Who can go wrong praying that your family and friends, Christians or nonChristians, have a great year full of prosperity and health??
I have another Bible passage that I like to use for directing my focus from Philippians 4:8-9:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
The new year brings a fresh reminder for a fresh start in how I see things in this world. That is not to say that I'm oblivious to bad news, that I am not affected by negative influences or emotions, or that I don't feel pain when others hurt, but I find that dwelling on such negativity serves no positive purpose in anyone's life, my own or that of my family or friends. The best I can do is whatever I can to alleviate whatever sorrow I can help alleviate, and to pray for whatever I can't personally affect...the latter being far more powerful through God's hands than my own. I do believe that what is impossible for man is possible with God. I have experienced the peace that surpasses all human understanding, and I pray that more people can experience that, too.
I pray that today marks a new beginning for my family and friends who are struggling in any area of their lives. I pray that they can make changes that make for better lives. Take control of what you can control, make changes you can make, practice what you have determined to do, and watch a new and better life emerge. God does not want us to be miserable. He wants us to be prosperous. Prosperity is not so much material blessings but overall peace. We should find ourselves blessed so that we can be a blessing for others. When you are blessed, accept that blessing from another and pass that blessing on to yet another...the Christian version of "pay it forward."
I do pray that my family and friends are able to have a great year in 2011. Jeremiah 29:11:
For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Jesus tells us that God calls the end from the beginning; we can call those things that be not as though they were. We have an empty slate starting today. What will you put on yours? I'm not much of an artist, but God can take my stick figures and flesh out a wonderful future for me and mine and yours. Will you let Him?
I'm looking forward to beginning this year with the ending in mind; I'm looking forward to a great year in 2011.